Thursday, August 29, 2013

Purdue Still Sucks at Music

As you head into this Labor Day weekend and prepare for the beginning of the college football season, thank Christ that you are not a Purdue University student or alumnus.  In case you are not aware, Purdue does not have the #1 ranked music school in the world.  A few years ago, there was a Purdue-sponsored fundraising video that was so bad it was yanked from YouTube.  That abortion of sight and sound should have been a warning that, under no circumstances, should anyone affiliated with Purdue try to make music.  Apparently, not everyone got the message.  

Some things that voluntarily associate with Purdue recently tried to make a rap video called, get this, "You Oughta Be Proud," which, despite the title of the song, is actually supposed to be about Purdue.  It was lambasted so mercilessly that the makers of the video took it off of YouTube and filed a DMCA copyright claim to keep it from being reposted, and Purdue itself is forbidding it from being played.  It's that bad. 

I am just sorry I didn't jump on this last week when I first saw it, so at least you could have viewed it for a day or two before it was taken down.  I really didn't think that a second Purdue fan video would be made and removed from the interwebs, but the irony is that, had the first video stayed online, it would have embarrassed the mongrels that go or went to Purdue so much that no second video would have ever been made.

Even though the video is no longer available, thankfully, someone transcribed the lyrics. It's really pretty horrible. Unsurprisingly, they tout their "big drum."  This is all these people have, aside from skid marks, unattractive women, and no fucking clue.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Retro Video of the Week: "I Have a Dream" by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today marked the 50th anniversary of the single most important civil rights speech (and maybe any kind of speech, period) since the Civil War:  Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Monument during the March on Washington.  Rather than post a video from the MTV era, this seemed to be a more appropriate video today.  If you have never watched or heard the whole speech, do yourself a favor and watch it in its entirety.  It's still as powerful and relevant as it's ever been.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday Top Ten: Controversial SNL Moments

I was out of town for most of the last week, and catching up on work and twerking has left me with little time to compose my own Tuesday Top Ten this week.  But, I did come across this article, listing what the author believes to be the eleven most controversial Saturday Night Live moments.  The list is pretty heavy on recent moments.  Noticeably absent:  the sketch from one of the first years where Chevy Chase and Richard Pryor play a racially charged word association game; when Andrew Dice Clay hosted in 1990 and cast member Nora Dunn boycotted; the members of Nirvana making out with each other during the ending credits; Ashlee Simpson's lip-syncing; Paul Westerberg of The Replacements shouting "fuck" in 1986; Elvis Costello and The Attractions defying Lorne Micheal by singing the anti-media "Radio Radio."  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Retro Video of the Week: "Think I'm In Love" by Eddie Money

This song came across my iPod today, reminding me how much I love it.  Not only is the video ahead of its time (vampires wouldn't be hot for another 25 years), but the song was also featured in the movie Joe Dirt, which reminds me of one of my favorite lines in movie history, courtesy of Gert B. Frobe.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tuesday Top Ten: "Songs That Can't Be Used on TV Again"

I was going to finally do my Lollapalooza Tuesday Top Ten this week, but it is slowly becoming my Chinese Democracy.  You can expect to read it anytime between now and 2028.  Instead, something else I saw fueled my fire.  Yesterday, I came across an article on entitled "10 Songs That Can't Be Used on TV Again."  The premise of the article is summed up in its first sentence:  "Certain songs are so closely associated with a specific show and moment in television that it feels like blasphemy when another series dare use it for its own soundtrack."  As a lover of TV, music, and the combination of the two, I thought this was a really interesting premise.  There are definitely some songs that are forever linked with a TV show, to the point where when you hear the song, you immediately think of the TV show.

Here are the songs/TV shows the author chose, with comments as needed by me.
1.  "Make Your Own Kind of Music" by Mama Cass; Lost
2.  "Wicked Game" by Chris Isaak; Friends.  I remember the scene -- and the juice box -- but honestly didn't remember that "Wicked Game" was playing.
3.  "Hide and Seak" by Imogen Heap; The OC.  God damn, I miss it.  Every day.  Although I believe there are songs more closely associated with The OC than this one.
4.  "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol; Grey's Anatomy
5.  "Zou Bisou Bisou" by Gillian Hills; Mad Men.  Agreed on this one, although I don't think there was much risk of any other show every playing that song anyway.
6.  "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" by IZ; ER
7.  "Breathe Me" by Sia; Six Feet Under
8.  "The Final Countdown" by Europe; Arrested Development. Awesome. 
9.  "My Immortal" by Evanescence; So You Think You Can Dance.  Probably not.
10.  "I Hear The Bells" by Mike Doughty; Veronica Mars.  I think more people would have to have watched Veronica Mars and know who Mike Doughty is for this to be true.
11.  "Crystal Blue Persuasion" by Tommy James & The Shondells; Breaking Bad

I thought that list was okay.  It was a little bit skewed towards recent shows.  Just about every one of the TV shows was in the last ten years.  I have created a list of my own, going back a little further.  I also included theme songs that were separate songs (i.e., songs that were not just theme songs and not written specifically for a TV show).  Here's what came to mind for me, along with the videos of the songs in the shows (alphabetically by TV show):

1.  "She Bangs" by Ricky Martin/William Hung; American Idol
The video says it all.

2.  "My Life" by Billy Joel; Bosom Buddies
Tom Hanks, Peter Scolari, a premise based entirely on two guys wearing drag to live in a female-only apartment building, and a Billy Joel song.  How did this not last longer than three seasons?

3.  "The Night Time is The Right Time" by Ray Charles; The Cosby Show
It's pretty tough to think of a more iconic Cosby Show moment than Rudy belting out "bay-baaaaayyyy!" for Grandma and Grandpa Huxtable's 49th Anniversary.

4.  "Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who; CSI: Miami
Cheesy murder-based intro line ("looks like someone lost his head"), whip the sunglasses off, and Roger Daltrey's screech.  It's a recipe for success.  The video below features 7 minutes of Horatio Caine one-liners right before the song kicks in.  Enjoy.

5.  "At This Moment" by Billy Vera & The Beaters; Family Ties
When I was a kid, I loved Family Ties, and I can't think of a song I associate with a TV show more than I associate "At This Moment" with Family Ties.  It was played during several episodes as Alex and Ellen's song.  Of course, in real life, Micheal J. Fox and Tracy Pollan eventually got married (and are still married), but in the show, things didn't work out.  The song was originally released in 1981 and hit #79 on the Billboard charts then.  Thanks to being featured in Family Ties, the song was re-released in 1986 and went to #1 in early 1987.  The video shows various Alex/Ellen scenes.

6.  "California" by Phantom Planet; The OC
It would be virtually impossible for any other TV show ever to play this song, unless specifically referencing The OC.

7.  "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley/Imogen Heap; The OC
I can't hear this song (any version of it, although it was the Imogen Heap version in the show) without thinking of Marissa Cooper dying.  Damn you, Josh Schwartz.  It was also featured in the last episode of the first season of the show (the Jeff Buckley version).

8.  "I'm So Excited" by The Pointer Sisters; Saved By The Bell
I'm so scared.

9.  "9 to 5 (Morning Train)" by Sheena Easton; Seinfeld
Kramer goes to work at Brant Leland, well kind of, and this song plays during the montage of him doing everyday work-type things, like riding the subway. George pretends he's handicapped, and this song plays during the montage of him, well, pretending he's handicapped.  I also miss Seinfeld.

10.  "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey; The Sopranos
This was a tough choice, but I added it because the song isn't really associated with any other TV show.  And I assume an entire family was murdered while it was playing, but I guess I'll never know for sure.

11.  "With a Little Help From My Friends" by Joe Cocker; The Wonder Years
When you hear this song, how can you not think of Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper?

I'm sure I'm missing some obvious ones.  Let me know.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Game. Blouses.

In a case of life imitating art imitating life, or maybe vice versa, the cover for the new Prince song, "Breakfast Can Wait," is perhaps the greatest cover he (or anyone else) has ever had.  I'm not going to give it away, but click on this link to see what I'm talking about.  Thanks to RDC for the link.  And who says Prince doesn't have a sense of humor?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Midwestern Eavesdropping

Guy with hair like Barry Gibb walks out of CVS:
Homeless man #1: "You got a buck?"
Barry Gibb: "No."
Homeless man #1: "Okay. Thanks, sir."
Homeless man #2 to Homeless man #1: "Shiiiiiiit, that man at work, straight up. Don't bother him. Look at his hair!"
Eavesdropper:  DBH

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Watchin' Weight

Every now and then, I feel the need to toot my own horn, and this is one of those times.  One year ago today, I made the decision that I need to lose some weight.  My chin was beginning to double, my pants were tight, and too many of my t-shirts were in the "maybe someday" pile.  I have since lost about 25 pounds.  My neck is thinner, my pants are falling off my hips, and I can wear t-shirts I haven't worn in probably 7 or 8 years.  I feel virile, lethal even.  People always ask me, "What's your secret, GMYH?  Did you get the Fuckout?"  To which I respond, "No, man, that's not an actual workout.  I just did Weight Watchers online."

I chose Weight Watchers because a friend of mine had lost a bunch of weight using it.  In my mind, I had mixed up Weight Watchers and NutriSystem, thinking that Weight Watchers involved buying pre-made meals, which it doesn't.

Once I straightened that out, I signed up to do it online, and then downloaded the mobile app.  I lost 7 pounds in the first two weeks, and lost weight pretty much every week thereafter until I leveled off at about 25 pounds a few months ago.

It is extremely easy to lose weight with Weight Watchers, and frankly, I don't know why everyone trying to lose weight (aside from the anorexics and bulimics) doesn't do it. 

The gist of it is that you get a certain number of points per day to use, and you can eat whatever you want to get to that point total.  When I started I was given 41 points per day, but as I have lost weight, that has been dropped to 36.  You also get 49 bonus points each week, which can be used if you go over your allotted daily total.

Foods are assigned differing point values depending on their fat, protein, carbs, and fiber.  For instance, most fruits and vegetables are 0 points.  On the other hand, a large Domino's hand-tossed cheese pizza is 61 points.

Also, doing physical activities (even walking) gains you points each week, and the amount of points you get for each activity varies depending on your weight.  For instance, when I started, I think 18 minutes of walking got me 2 points, but now it takes 20 minutes to get 2 points.  You can use those activity points after you have burned through your daily points and/or your weekly bonus points.  So, the more you exercise, the more you can eat or drink.

In addition to tooting my own horn, the other purpose of this post is to hopefully give you a boost if you're looking to lose some weight.

Here are the most important takeaways from Weight Watchers, in my opinion:

1.  I lost 25 pounds essentially without working out.  That's right, apparently, eating healthily and portion control equates to losing weight, and you don't have to work out to shed pounds.  For me, this was great, because I generally don't have a lot of extra time to workout, and I am very lazy.

2.  I lost weight without really changing my drinking habits.  Sure, I drink light beer more often now because regular beer has more points (5 vs. 4 per 12 oz.), but Weight Watchers allows you to craft your diet on a particular day to allow for the consumption of alcohol (or a big meal, if you're not a borderline alcoholic).  Whereas in the past, I would not change my diet if I knew I was going to be going out drinking or going out to dinner, now I eat a lot of fruit during the day if I know I'm going to be drinking or having a big meal at night.  Yes, I realize I am allowing myself to drink more, but I'm also consuming a lot more fruit!

3.  It is extremely easy to do.  You just enter the food and drinks you've consumed (or activity you've done) into the online tracker or your mobile app, and it tells you how many points you've consumed (or acquired by exercise) and how many you have left.  Just about any food you can think of, as well as menu items from most national restaurants, are in there already, and for any food not in the database, you can enter the grams of protein, fat, carbs, and fiber, and it will calculate a point total for you.  The mobile app is really easy to use, and pretty much gives you no excuse not to keep track of everything you consume.

4.  You don't have to answer to anyone except yourself.  Basically, with the tracking system, you have no excuse not to lose weight because you are responsible for entering everything you eat or do.  If you want to cheat and not enter foods that you eat, you're only cheating yourself, and you won't be getting any skinnier.

So, get out there, starting drinking, quit working out, and start losing weight.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Midwestern Eavesdropping

[I haven't yet had time to prepare my Tuesday Top Ten about Lollapalooza, but I hope to do it in the next day or so.  In the meantime, enjoy this.]

Ten-year-old boy in response to free passes to Lake Shore Athletic Club being handed out:  "I don't go there.  I go to East Bank Club."
Thirty-something male passing by, under his breath:  "Fuck you, little kid."
--Chicago, Webster & Racine
Eavesdropper:  RDC

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Police State

Here's a parenting tip I recently learned.  Lollipop, our nearly-two-year-old who lacks respect for personal safety, figured out how to dive bomb head first out of her crib.  As a result, we were forced to convert her crib to a toddler bed way too early.  She pretty much just gets up as soon as we leave the room, prompting us to put a baby gate up to prevent escape.  Of course, it doesn't help that she shares a room with Daughter.  Between Daughter's need to sing in bed and Lollipop's need to destroy everything in her path, bed time tends to involve several trips into their room, yelling, and tears.  

In the last week, things have devolved into the female toddler version of Lord of the Flies.  Saturday night, Jester went into their room to discover that they had found the baby powder -- and emptied an entire bottle in a surprisingly even manner across the whole floor.  And then Monday night, Daughter came into our room around ten or eleven, holding a bottle of baby oil, which she had partially emptied on her head.  Meanwhile, Lollipop had secured a bottle of infant saline nasal spray, which she had sprayed into her mouth before biting the cap off.  

Tuesday night, we moved anything that could be poured, drunk, sprayed, or otherwise ejected from reaching distance.  Then, as Jester was putting them to bed, she said, sternly, "Stay in bed, or else we'll call the police."  They stayed in bed.  

Last night, when going to bed, Lollipop laid down without resistance, looked up at Jester, shook her finger, and said something that sounded like "no playroom."  Confused, we asked Daughter to interpret.  She was saying "no policeman."  They stayed in bed again last night.  Now, anytime they give us any lip, we threaten arrest.  When it seems like they're trying to test me, I pick up my phone and pretend to dial.  Before I even hit the second fake number, the kids have shaped up.

You know who else were great parents?  Sandy and Kirsten Cohen.  God, I miss The OC.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Retro Video of the Week: "California" by Phantom Planet

Keeping with the OC theme, even though it's not technically a "retro" video, the song that became the theme song of The OC seems appropriate.  Of course, one of my long lost twins plays drums, so that makes it even that much more special.  Because I love you guys so much, I am including the official video and the song as played during the opening credits of the first season of the single greatest cultural phenomenon in the history of man involving vampire surfers, chicks who can't pronounce the word "clothes," and cage-fighting superhumans from Chino.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

More OC Love

I was too busy today to write my obligatory Tuesday Top Ten about the ten best shows I saw at Lollapalooza, so that will have to wait until next week.  In the meantime, yesterday's post about The OC must have struck a chord because I received several OC-related links.  The first is a great article from Grantland (that doesn't take 45 minutes to read).  Thanks to RPTre for the link.  The second is an online OC "Superfan Quiz."  Thanks to RDC for that link, who, incidentally, got 33 out of 50 on the quiz.  Sadly, I only got 30, which only serves as a reminder of how much I need The OC in my life.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Remember The OC, Bitch

It is categorically undebatable that The OC is the greatest show in television history.  It seems like yesterday that Sandy Cohen took a chance on a kid from Chino who could pretty much kill anyone just by looking at them.  But it wasn't yesterday.  It was exactly ten years ago tonight.  I remember watching the pilot with my then-new-roommates Tron and Two Dolla.  We were immediately hooked, and I can honestly say that I have seen every episode of the show.

In honor of the tenth anniversary, Alan Sepinwall of recently interviewed The OC's creator, Josh Schwartz.  It is in two parts.  For Part 1, click here.  For Part 2, click here.  God, I miss it so much, you guys.  Every damn day.  Eternal thanks to Jaleh for sending me the link.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Retro Video of the Week: "Crymazy" by Aerosmith

I meant to post a Retro Video of the Week yesterday, but was busy at a lunch meeting Uptown with Cliff Huxtable.  And I'm not going to be around tomorrow to post a Hair Band Friday, since I will be at the greatest music festival in the world.  To make up for these misgivings, I am posting three videos for your sonic and visual enjoyment.  Back in 1993 and 1994, Aerosmith was having a renaissance, thanks in large part to three fantastic videos featuring Alicia Silverstone.  Released in July 1993, November 1993, and May 1994, respectively, "Cryin'," "Amazing," and "Crazy" were bona fide MTV hits ("Cryin'" won several MTV VMAs).  All three were directed by Marty Callner, who directed most of Aerosmith's videos in the '80s and '90s.

"Cryin'" featured Silverstone breaking up with boyfriend Stephen Dorff (probably because he was a vampire, and a philanderous one at that), getting her belly button pierced, getting her purse stolen by Sawyer, chasing down Sawyer and kicking his ass, then jumping off a bridge to make Dorff feel guilty, only to reveal a rope.  So she's not dead, but she gives Dorff the finger and my 15-year-old self a woody.

Next up was "Amazing," where Silverstone and Randall "Pink" Floyd are engaging in some sort of cyberspace fantasy.  There are motorcycles and biplanes.  It was magical.

The final piece in the puzzle was "Crazy," which was Liv Tyler's career debut.  Her and Silverstone embark on a PG-13-rated Thelma and Louise-type journey that starts with skipping school, involves an amateur erotic dancing competition, and ends with skinny dipping and a self-aware (and literate) tractor.  I cannot overstate how much I loved this video when I was 16.

Enough talk.  Here are the videos: